Daniel Draper

September 2019

At age 33, Daniel Draper is a non-traditional student from Williamsburg, Kentucky. He is seeking a B.S. degree in geology with a minor in land survey and a certificate in geographic information science (GIS).

Daniel is the son of a 3rd generation coal miner who went back to school in his thirties to obtain a degree in education and is now a high school teacher in Middlesboro, Kentucky. His mother is a factory worker at Firestone in Williamsburg, Kentucky.

After high school, he attended EKU for one semester but got busy with work responsibilites and did not return. He found jobs working as a tool salesman and a carpenter, but he always wanted to finish a university-level degree. “I always tried to be a decent student, but I didn’t complete my degree when I was younger”, said Daniel. “I wanted higher wages, travel opportunities, the ability to do intellectual work to help Kentucky do better”.

During the summer of 2017, Daniel’s interest in Daniel Boone led him to retrace his steps through Kentucky. He also bought a boat that summer and spent a lot of time on the water. When he decided to return to EKU to finish his degree, these experiences, the fact that his dad was a coal miner, and a bit of research regarding job growth statistics, led him to seek a degree in geology.

Daniel stays very busy. He has been the recipient of Booth Scholarship for Science and Mathematics for the last three semesters, he is working on two research projects with Dr. Jonathan Malzone in the Department of Geosciences, and works part-time as a security guard.

When asked what being at EKU has taught him he replied, “Time management is the biggest skill I have mastered. I use calendars and checklists like never before and I somehow meet all the deadlines that come at me”.

Daniel spends his free time with friends and family and enjoys grilling out.

Published on August 30, 2019